Why Does My Skin Turn Red When I Exercise?

Do you ever wonder how some people can walk out of a gym looking like they just walked in? If you are reading this then you, most likely, are one of lucky ones whose face turns beet red after even the shortest workout.

A red face from exercise may seem like a cause for concern, but more often than not it is just your body’s way of handling the extra heat created by exercise. When you exercise, many changes happen in your body:

• You will breathe faster to maximize the amount of oxygen in your blood.
• Your heart will beat faster, which increases blood flow to your muscles.
• Your small blood vessels will widen to deliver more oxygen to your muscles and carry away carbon dioxide and other waste products that build up.

It is this widening of the blood vessels that causes the flushing of your skin during exercise!

When you exercise, your body temperature increases and carries the blood towards the skin’s surface, causing one to sweat and cool off. This natural body mechanism can lead to a flushed, red face, which can be especially more noticeable in fair-skinned individuals.

Most facial redness during exercise can be considered normal; however, if you are exercising in extreme heat, a red face could be an early sign of heat exhaustion or even heat stroke. According to the Mayo Clinic, other symptoms of heat exhaustion can include excessive sweating, nausea and light headedness. Heatstroke occurs when the body can no longer compensate for the excess heat. This may involve a reduced ability to sweat with skin that is hot and dry or only slightly moist. Heatstroke can be life threatening and requires immediate medical attention, as it causes your body’s temperature to elevate beyond 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

While the redness you experience during exercise cannot be cured or fixed, you can take measures to try and reduce the redness. Try exercising in a cool environment and wear light-colored and loose fitting clothing. Staying hydrated with plenty of water is key in preventing heat stroke. If exercising outdoors, exercising in the early hours or late afternoon may reduce your heat exposure.

Skin Struggles?

Red, itchy skin long after a workout might mean your body has more going on that just standard warm up and cool down during exercise. If you are struggling with skin issues and don’t know where to turn, the skin health experts at Forefront Dermatology are ready to help. To find the Forefront dermatologist nearest you, visit the locations page today.